A Day in the Life of: A Student Journalist

Image Description: Old man smiling with a Spectator mug and an open laptop with a George Orwell quote

You may have decided to read this article because you are interested in pursuing student journalism. Or you may be here out of spite and hatred. 

Student journalists, like real journalists, are rarely held in high esteem within the university ecosystem. As a student journalist myself, I can confirm that this is a perfectly valid, indeed correct, view to hold.

10 am: This is the time a student journalist (or journo, to use an even more irritating nickname) typically wakes up, before nipping out to Pret. If I’m lucky, I overhear some juicy gossip and spend the next half hour thinking about how to construct an elaborate and intriguing Oxfess about it.

Mentally, I straddle the line between thinking that everything I write is incredibly vital for the student community and having the self-awareness to realise that this is a colossal waste of time for everyone involved. Perhaps what the world needs is more PPE students writing about is how they think they can solve the Israel-Palestine situation or how Boris Johnson can win the next election. Yes. Then again everyone knows that I’m only doing this to get on a nice grad scheme one day. I don’t actually care about any of you.

3 PM: I go back to Pret to get another coffee. On my way back I decide to hang around the Union for a while to see if anything happens. I notice two things: one, that a presidential hopeful is busy happily chatting away to a disgraced ex-hack who was in a racism scandal a few terms back (so much for change, I sigh), and two, that they probably only know who I am because I once ran a puff piece on them when I was trying to get on their slate.

I am a student journalist, one rung below the people who spam crap in JCR Facebook groups and, crucially, one measly rung above the Union hacks. Do I stab them in the back and expose their crimes (and thus showing the world that I do have an ounce of morality, honest) or do I keep schtum? After all, the Union may be objectively more evil, but it is more relevant. Maybe I, too, can one day be relevant. I could go up in the world. Or down. Probably down, but I bet you get free booze if you’re a Union hack. That’d be nice.

8 PM: I notice that I am perhaps experiencing something of an essay crisis, but I am too preoccupied with my article ranking all of the different college cats. I email my tutor to tell him that I have had a serious crisis this week and he is not to expect any work from me. I haven’t submitted an essay for 4 weeks now, and I am starting to run out of family members who have supposedly died in order to service my excuses. At least he’s nicer and more understanding than my editor. They make Malcolm Tucker look like Peppa Pig.

When I started this journalism malarkey I thought that I would be the next Hunter S Thompson or Joan Didion. Instead, I write about JCR motions on recycling bins and the dodgy stuff that drunk Magdalen students have said at Port & Policy. C’est la vie.

10 PM: Speaking of the devil, I get a message from my editor in chief. Apparently, my last article received dozens of complaints about being racially insensitive. How exciting! I didn’t realise that dozens of people read my pieces. I’m going to put this on my CV.

1 AM: Sendoff my essay. Only joking. I send off my application for an internship at the Daily Mail. I should get it – Daddy’s got connections. I finish my half-drunk bottle of Echo Falls from Saino’s and head to bed, safe in the knowledge that I have positively contributed to the student community once again.

If this sounds like an ideal day for you, The Oxford Student is recruiting! APPLY HERE!

Image Credit: Stocklite/ Edited